In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2022, check out these books about conservation for kids and tweens. Curated by Bonita Bignar.
Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans
Feast your eyes on these amazing creatures before they disappear. This stampede of wild animals, from Chinese Alligator to Grevy’s Zebra, are so rare, they’re all endangered. David McLiman’s bold and playful illustrations transform each letter into a work of art, graphically rendered with animal characteristics. Scales, horns, even insect wings transform the alphabet into animated life.
Once you take this eye-opening safari, you’ll never look at letters or animals the same way again. A striking work of art and a zoological adventure, Gone Wild is sure to be loved by children and adults alike.
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.,
book / book
book in Spanish
The author and illustrator team behind the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? turn their extraordinary talents to the theme of animal conservation.
Thirty-five years after their first groundbreaking collaboration, the creators of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? reunite to address the important topic of animal conservation. A Bald Eagle soars, a Spider Monkey swings, a Macaroni Penguin struts, and a Red Wolf sneaks through Bill Martin Jr’s rhythmic text and Eric Carle’s vibrant images, and all are watched over by our best hope for the future: a dreaming child.
One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul
Hoopla eBook with audio
Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.
The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.
Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
The author and artist Lynne Cherry journeyed deep into the rain forests of Brazil to write and illustrate her gorgeous picture book The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest (1990). One day, a man exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another” . . . and it works. Cherry’s lovingly rendered colored pencil and watercolor drawings of all the “wondrous and rare animals” evoke the lush rain forests, as well as stunning world maps bordered by tree porcupines, emerald tree boas, and dozens more fascinating creatures.
The Wump World by Bill Peet
The Pollutians invade the Wump World and turn the green meadows into a concrete jungle.
One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole
A wordless book that starts from a tall tree growing in the forest – to the checkout counter at the grocery store – one brown bag finds its way into the hands of a young boy on the eve of his first day of school.
And so begins the journey of one brown bag that is used
and re-used again.
In a three-generation family, the bag is transporter of objects and keeper of memories. And when Grandfather comes to the end of his life, the family finds a meaningful new way for the battered, but much-loved brown bag to continue its journey in the circle of life.
Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodbridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Wilson challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya reluctantly follows. They soon get lost, and they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.
In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.
What Planet Are You from Clarice Bean? by Lauren Child
This book is mostly about me, Clarice Bean, and saving the planet of earth.
What happens is, my older brother Kurt rushes in. You can tell something is wrong because he is running. (Kurt never runs.)
He says, ‘The tree in our street is going to be chopped to pieces.’ (It’s probably a hundred years old.)
Everyone goes a bit down in the mouth. Kurt says he’s going to make a plan of action to stop all the destruction.
Dad mutters, ‘It’s a shame he doesn’t take action over all the destruction in his bedroom.’
Mum says, ‘I’m just glad he’s going to do something that involves the word action.’
But how can Kurt save the planet all on his own? If only I could help but I will be in BIG trouble with Mrs. Wilberron if I am late even for one measly day of school.
The Missing ‘Gator of Gumbo Limbo by Jean Craighead George
Liza Poole lives with her mother in one of the last balanced ecosystems in North America — the Gumbo Limbo Hammock deep within the lush kingdom of the Florida Everglades. Some may think it strange to live outdoors, but Liza feels lucky to live it strange to live outdoors, but Liza feels lucky to live in her small yellow tent amidst tropical birds and exotic plants. And at the center of this natural paradise lies Dajun, the majestic alligator who protects Gumbo Limbo’s environment.
Then, one day, a state official arrives with frightening orders. Dajun is scaring people nearby — he must be killed! Liza takes action to save the invaluable gator, but suddenly, he is nowhere to be found. Now, she must find Dajun before it’s too late, and her search will lead her into the heart of an exciting eco mystery!
The Maze by Will Hobbs
book on CD
Just fourteen, Rick Walder is alone, on the run, and desperate. Stowing away in the back of a truck, he suddenly finds himself at a dead end, out in the middle of nowhere. The Maze. In this surreal landscape of stark red rock spires and deep sandstone canyons, Rick stumbles into the remote camp of Lon Perigrino, a bird biologist who is releasing fledgling California condors back into the wild. Intrigued by the endangered condors and the strange bearded man dedicated to saving them, Rick decides to stay on. When two men with a vicious dog drive up in a battered old Humvee, Rick discovers that Lon and his birds are in grave danger. Will he be able to save them? In a heart-stopping adventure infused with the spirit of the Icarus myth and a boy’s dreams of flight, Will Hobbs brings readers a unique tale of identity, personal growth, and friendship.
It’s never too early to get into environment-friendly habits and mindsets. Find more eBooks for kids with Hoopla’s Growing Up Green for Kids collection.
*All summaries courtesy of the publisher unless otherwise noted.